Wednesday, August 8, 2012


The New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote  a few days ago about Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid’s recent and continued accusation that Mitt Romney has not filed tax returns for the past ten years.  (Let me say here that I am not in any way taking or implying a political position on Mr. Romney in this Post.)

Bruni’s is a lament that the SO Community knows well – and perhaps saw this all coming down the pike twenty or so years ago, as the Sex Offense Mania took shape and was catapulted off the deck of the great vessel of the Republic.

“For the dwindling few out there who still believe that big accusations require a little foundation and that truth – as opposed to conjecture – matters” … he begins.

Well, for how long has the SO Community seen that accusations (let alone legislation) not only don’t require serious grounding in truth, but that the law has actually been deformed (not really ‘reformed’) and deranged (not merely ‘changed’) to make that all easier?

Now it’s beginning to dawn on more mainstream types.

So far, Bruni notes, Reid “had backed up his claim … with absolutely nothing more than some vague reference to some unnamed guy who said something of the sort to Reid during some phone conversation some time ago”. Which sounds pretty much like a recovered-memory or other type of claim in any sex-abuse lawsuit or even criminal trial: I don’t have a lot of facts but I just know I was victimized - or, at least, I want you to believe I was victimized.

Now the pols who enabled all these deforms (used here as a noun, pronounced like ‘reforms’) are beginning to use the stuff themselves.

“But for Reid it was enough to level his charge, but also, as the days pressed on, to double and triple down on it, his language and manner growing more righteous even as his evidence grew no more detailed or persuasive”. Surely Reid is taking a page from the old Victimist game-book here. The less facts you have, and the more people are beginning to ask questions, then the more you ramp up the righteousness and the vividness of your claims.

But it gets worse. As the SO Community might well imagine.

In an interview Reid responded: “Well, do I know that’s true? … Well, I’m not certain”. Which is, laudably, more frankness and honesty than you get in the standard Victimist Script. But then, in the Script, there are plenty of maneuvers to be deployed at this point, to take the focus off the credibility of your claims and put it on the ‘horrific’ experience implied in your (un-tested) story.

And, in best Victimist playbook form, Reid upped the ante by then claiming that actually Romney’s fortune (which in the scenario is his key ‘offense’) is “probably greater than published estimates”. In other words, if you don’t believe my story, then I am suggesting that this guy is guilty of even a hell of a lot more than you imagined. Sound familiar?

Bruni is now on the scent. “And so a wild supposition was magically transformed into the given from which yet another bit of speculation blossomed, and any concern with provable information was long gone, a casualty of the craven rules of political engagement these days”. But those craven rules migrated over from the craven rules of Victimist law deforms that the pols have been liberally (but without possibility of tracing their vote) passing into SO Mania legislation for nigh on twenty years now.

People who do this, Bruni says, have put their “conscience on ice”. Which is a vital deform that had to be imposed in order to launch the whole SO Mania to begin with.

“Spew first and sweat the details later”, figures Bruni. And how true it is. And has been – in SO Mania matters – for all these years. And – of course – by now enough deforms have been introduced into the legal system that you rarely have to do any “sweating” later on anyway: no prosecutor or jury is going to ‘re-victimize’ you by either a) asking you probing questions about your story or b) holding you legally responsible for any crimes (perjury, say) that you may have committed in the process of achieving your laudable and heroic goal of ‘justice’, ‘closure’, and ‘sending a message’.

“Speak loosely and carry a stick-thin collection of backup materials, or none at all.” Bingo. The ‘story’ is all. If it’s vivid and gripping, then it will be a good-enough ‘hook’ and your script – pitched to a jury like a script is pitched to a Hollywood producer – will ‘sell’.

But here Bruni goes off the scent, perhaps because he is writing for a ‘liberal’ paper and it’s a tough election year: “It has spread beyond the practiced rabble-rousers of the far Right, and Democrats are exuberantly getting in on this unbecoming, corrosive game”.  The Democrats have been buying-into and funding this game since their embrace of Victimist law deforms long decades ago. And – yes – the Republicans started it in Reagan’s day with their embrace of Victimism, but the Dems quickly got into a ‘bipartisan’ collusion, on behalf of their radical-feminist and other assorted Victim-Identity demographics, united not in a common Citizenship and dedication to the commonweal, but rather merely in a common – if multiform – Victimization.

So it’s not quite the whole truth of the matter to lament that “Republicans were by and large willing to play faster, looser and flat-out nastier”. In fact, I’ll say that Karl Rove, arch-spinmeister with the professional morals of a feral alley-cat, wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did with his plans if he hadn’t been able to take advantage of the already-established deep and vital corrosion worked by Victimist deforms that weakened not only the integrity of the Beltway and the Rule of Law, but also the general public’s intensifying inability to sniff out truth from untruth, fact from fiction, after years of watching the spectacle of the SO Mania unfold.  

Ditto, Bruni notes, that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week had to issue a formal apology to Republican money-bags contributor Sheldon Adelson, who was accused of “profiting from a Chinese prostitution strategy” at a casino he runs in Macau. And you can see in this Adelson bit (as you saw with Julian Assange) how easily now ‘sex offenses’ have become a handy political tool, or assault weapon.

It seems to Bruni that the operative political ‘philosophy’ here is that a target “[M]ust be discredited and neutralized by whatever means necessary. Details, schmetails.”  This has always been a Victimist play, and I would point to the sustained efforts by ‘secular liberals’ to do the same thing to the Catholic Church by turning it into a piñata for sex-abuse claims and trials, such as the recent Philadelphia show-trial and the Santa Clara trial (about both of which I have written on this site).**

And along those lines, Bruni also notes that Reid’s defenders claim that since Romney won’t release more than a year’s worth of tax returns then that somehow “makes clear that he is hiding something”. In other words, if you don’t give us what we want, then we’ll just claim that your very refusal is grounds (if not also “proof”) that you must be hiding even more stuff. Shades of the Catholic Church in the abuse ‘crisis’.

Bruni asks: “Is this a road we really want to continue barreling down?” Well, the country has been zooming down this road since at least the beginning of the SO Mania Stampede, and – contrary to Bruni’s limited view of the causes at work here – it didn’t all start with the current presidential election cycle. Not hardly.

But he still has some acute insights.

“The new shape of the news-media universe doesn’t help. Balkanized into micro-niches where partisans can have their passions stoked and prejudices reinforced, it gives reckless allegations many place to land and even stick before they get a sober look.” This, as the SO Community knoweth full well, has been going on for quite a long time. And for many that “sober look” is yet to come.

But – in best Victimist playbook form – Reid remains “unbowed … inconsistent too”.  Bruni reports that Reid had told a bunch of (friendly, I imagine) reporters in his home state (Nevada) that “a number of people had whispered to him of Romney’s alleged tax evasion”, although at another juncture Reid issued a statement referring only to a single but “extremely credible source”.  This is a classic from the playbook: you buttress your un-grounded assertions by claiming that lots of people have told you (although you can’t quite name them or recall them specifically). Although Reid slathers it all on rather thickly by then immediately using another trusty bit from the same section of the playbook and claims that he has one hugely reliable source (also – as Bruni notes – unidentified).

And then Reid takes it over the top by saying in twenty-five words or less what the playbook usually recommends that you pussyfoot around: “I don’t think the burden should be on me … the burden should be on him [Romney] … he’s the one I’ve alleged has paid no taxes”.  In other words, once you’ve made your (un-grounded and unsubstantiated) accusation, then the burden of proof is on the guy you’ve accused. This is Victimist jurisprudence 101, but you’re not supposed to expose its ugly kisser to the public – you’re supposed to finesse it.

But Reid doesn’t have to play the Game quite so cautiously – he is, after all, a Senator and a highly-placed one at that.

So much for the first principles of Law in this country: that the burden of proof lies with the accuser. (Except in military sex-offense law, where under Reid’s tutelage that vital Framing principle was overturned in favor of the ‘victim’.)

Said the Speaker of the House (Republican John Boehner): “It’s one of the problems that occurs here in Washington. People run out there without any facts and just make noise”.  But Washington has been erecting this sort of ‘problem’ into legislation for decades now. And at this point the pols have been infected with the same plague-bacillus that they’ve been spreading throughout the entire national culture and the legal community for all those same decades.

So the Victimist Playbook is now becoming the Beltway Playbook.

This can’t be good.  Nor can it end well.


*The print-version appeared in The New York Times, Sunday, August 5, 2012, on page 3 of the ‘Sunday Review’ section.  After garnering 330 or more comments in three days, the Times has closed down further commenting.

**In the specifics of the Rule of Law, of course, it is precisely “details” [such as i) evidence (admitted according to rational objective evidentiary standards), ii) the presumption of innocence of the accused, iii) the focus on adjudging the specifics of matching the accused’s actions and the Charges lodged and not puffing up a ‘show trial’ to ‘send a message’ and iv) the commitment to both objective and rational proceedings and to the principles of the Framing Vision]  that comprise the working structural members of the Rule of Law.

And in this regard I note the acute but profoundly alarming observation made by Theodore Lowi in separate books published in 1969 and in 1995: that liberal politics are precisely antithetical to Law and the Rule of Law, because Law and the Rule of Law provide solid obstructions against the deal-making ‘flexibility’ so vital to modern liberal (Identity-based) politics.

You have only to read radical-feminist law-professor Catharine MacKinnon’s 1989 summa Toward A Feminist Theory of the State to see her striving mightily to ensure the ‘deconstruction’ of Law and the Rule of Law and the traditions based on the Framing Vision and the first principles of the Constitution. And since her book arrived precisely as the 1990s – era of ‘governance feminism’ flourished under the Clintons – were dawning, then you can see what a perfect storm was brewing in the Beltway.

And you can see now, I think, on just what grounds the profoundly and vividly anti-Constitutional foundations of the SO Registration and Mania Regime were ‘justified’ in the minds of the pandering, deal-making pols in the Beltway and in the several States: both the deal-making pols and the Victimists share a lethal presumption, i.e. that if Law and the Rule of Law stand in the way of getting your deal/providing ‘justice’ for the alleged Victim, then Law and the Rule of Law have to go.

Hey hey, ho ho, the Rule of Law has got to go! And as Frank Bruni may now begin to realize: so it has.
So much remains to be done.


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